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How to fight burnout by being kind (to others and yourself) at work

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Work burnout comes in many forms. These include a general lack of enthusiasm for work, cynicism towards colleagues, and general fatigue from being exhausted from coming to work every day. Depending on how bad the situation is, solutions can range from quitting the company altogether to finding ways to firmly establish boundaries between work and home.However, before making any drastic changes, a few small change may have a bigger impact than you Expect: as Research Showsa small act of kindness towards oneself or a colleague It actually helps reduce burnout.

“Being kind to others can help you feel more connected and lessen burnout.” Yu Tse HengA faculty member studying burnout at the University of Virginia. This allows him to alleviate one of the main symptoms of burnout: feelings of cynical.

How small acts of kindness can reduce burnout

there is 3 major components of burnout: fatigue, inefficiency, cynicism. Exhaustion usually comes from overwork, inefficiency comes from a general feeling of being mismatched for work, and cynicism usually comes from dealing with difficult relationships at work. Burnout often stems from one primary factor, such as a toxic co-worker or having a job that doesn’t match your abilities, but there are ways it can spread to affect other aspects of your life. .

like hen research It has been shown that doing small acts of kindness to others in the workplace can make you feel less sarcastic and more effective at work. Examples of small acts of kindness include taking a moment to check up on a colleague, giving your deskmate a cup of coffee while you’re drinking coffee, or offering a sincere compliment.

“Doing good things tends to make you feel better,” he said. Amit Kumar, is a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, whose research focuses on the impact of kindness. As Kumar points out, people who are being treated with kindness tend to feel better about being kind, and people who are being treated with kindness tend to feel better too. To the extent that kind people often underestimate“It’s very small things to the person being treated kindly, but they are very important things to the person being treated kindly,” said Kumar.

Self-compassion is also important

On the other hand, acts of self-compassion, such as taking time to enjoy a good meal, napping, or carving out time for hobbies, reduce fatigue, the third major component of burnout. help you to As Heng points out, the act of self-compassion is often harder than we admit.

“It feels easier to have compassion for a friend than for yourself, but you actually need compassion as well,” says Heng. “Self-compassion allows you to take time for yourself.” What this act of self-compassion looks like depends on your tastes, but even if it takes a little time It’s important to try to find time to do something good for yourself, even if it’s as simple as sitting in a quiet room free from the normal high-pressure demands of everyday life.

Burnout is a systemic problem

Acts of kindness help, but the reality is that workplace burnout is an organizational problem. This may be due to an overworked work culture that leads to fatigue. A workplace system that puts employees in direct competition with each other, leading to a toxic environment. Alternatively, employers who do not properly use their employees’ skills lead to a sense of inefficiency.

“Burnout is usually something the organization should address, not the inflexible and incompetent employee,” says Heng. Kindness at the individual level helps somewhat, but fostering an environment in which kindness is the norm can really only be done at the organizational level. “The problem is that employees often have to take things into their own hands,” says Heng.

How to fight burnout by being kind (to others and yourself) at work

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